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I7 920 + GTX 285 vs X4 955 BE + 4890 CF

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July 17, 2009 10:07:55 AM

Ok, basically I have a budget of 1500 bucks to spend on a desktop, including a monitor. So I went to build two separate systems, one using intel CPU + NVIDIA card and the other using AMD CPU +ATi video card, and this is what I came up with (AMD system is approximately 50 bucks cheaper):


Qty. Product Description Savings Total Price
1 ASUS VH222H Black 21.5" 5ms HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor - Retail

$169.99

1 SAMSUNG Spinpoint F1 HD103UJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive

$84.99

1 Logitech 967740-0403 Black USB Standard Internet 350 USB Keyboard

$9.25

1 CABLES UNLIMITED ACC-1400 Anti Static Wrist Strap With Grounding Wire

$5.99

1 Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920

$279.99

1 COOLER MASTER Centurion 590 RC-590-KKN1-GP Black SECC / ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

$58.99

1 LG 22X DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model GH22LS50 LightScribe Support

$27.99

1 OCZ XMP Ready Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model OCZ3X1600LV6GK

$104.99

1 EVGA 01G-P3-1180-AR GeForce GTX 285 1GB 512-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card

$329.99

1 EVGA 141-BL-E757-TR LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX X58 SLI LE Intel Motherboard

$234.99

1 CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply

$109.99

1 COOLER MASTER V8 RR-UV8-XBU1-GP 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler

$59.99

VS

Qty. Product Description Savings Total Price

2 XFX HD-489A-ZDFC Radeon HD 4890 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card

$389.98

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply

$109.99

CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model TR3X6G1600C8 G

$114.99

LG 22X DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model GH22LS50 LightScribe Support

$27.99

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F1 HD103UJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive

$84.99

COOLER MASTER Centurion 590 RC-590-KKN1-GP Black SECC / ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

$58.99

Logitech 967740-0403 Black USB Standard Internet 350 USB Keyboard

$9.25

COOLER MASTER V8 RR-UV8-XBU1-GP 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler

$59.99

ASUS M4A79T Deluxe AM3 DDR3 AMD 790FX ATX AMD Motherboard

$189.99

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor

$210.00

ASUS VH222H Black 21.5" 5ms HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor - Retail

$169.99

CABLES UNLIMITED ACC-1400 Anti Static Wrist Strap With Grounding Wire

$5.99

I'm planning to OC whichever system I buy (thus the cooler). I've talked to a couple of my friends, and they had differing opinions. Some said go with the i7 system because the CPU rocks, and 285 is the best single GPU card out there and this system will pretty much max out most games.

However, some others mentioned how intel will discontinue i7 920, and that I'll be screwed in the future when I have to upgrade or if the 920 breaks, while AM3+ will be fine in the future for upgrade. They also mentioned that since I'm more of a gamer than anything else(I dont do much CPU intensive things like video/music/art type of thing, or computational math things. I play games like World of Warcraft, Crysis, Fallout 3, Prototype), graphics are more important in a system, and 4890 crossfirex'ed will beat the 285 hands down.

Which one do you think I should buy? And also, ANY suggestions on replacing any part in either systems are welcome (for example, my cooler -- is it an okay one for the price? but please consider my budget) because to be honest, I'm not much of an expert in terms of computer hardware (infact first time building one by myself).

Another question: I could replace the 4890 CF on the AMD system with 275 SLI for around 30$ more, but I felt like AMD + ATi would probably integrate better overall.

ALSO NOTE, I'll be buying the system NOT NOW, but most likely mid-august or maybe even late august, but I just wanted to get some info asap. And ordering everything from newegg.com

Thanks!

More about : 920 gtx 285 955 4890

July 17, 2009 10:21:28 AM

Since u said that u are a gamer and u don't do much intensive games i would say go for the X4 955 + HD 4890CF it will give u better gaming performance.
And that ASUS monitor supports 1920x1080 so u will benefit from CrossFire.

About the GTX275,well HD 4890 and GTX 275 perform pretty close to each other,in some games ATI wins and in some games Nvidia wins,but if its $30 i say go for HD 4890CF,its not worth to pay $30 more
July 17, 2009 10:22:17 AM

the phenom doesnt use triple channel memory kits . You will only need a 2 x2 gig dual channel kit .

Spend the $50 you save on a bigger monitor . 24 inch 1080 p should fit in the same budget cap .


Of the two rigs the phenom crossfire will be a better gamer . It doesnt matter the i7 is a bit stronger than the phenom because the gfx are the limiting factor at high quality and resolution settings

BTW , both system are overkill
Id just buy the phenom with a single 4890 and see if it gives you the frame rates you want
Related resources
July 17, 2009 10:22:33 AM

I'm a gamer and I DO play intensive games. Regardless, Thanks for your opinion!
July 17, 2009 10:22:58 AM

Out of the two builds,

go for the AMD/ATI, as you said, the CF 4890 will pulverize the GTX285 and if you are not doing lots of CPU intensive tasks, there is not really any point in getting the i7 anyways.

The 4890 is a better buy than GTX275. My opinion, at least.

There's lots of knowledgeable people here that will gladly help you, I'm sure you will get some suggestions for parts. :) 
July 17, 2009 10:23:14 AM

oh oops, I'll fix the AMD setup. However, I was actually looking into getting a monitor under 22'', weirdly I do not like big monitors (space, etc)
July 17, 2009 10:32:48 AM

With that kind of budget, I'd think you can do a lot better in terms of getting more high quality components. I'm not saying what you've selected isn't good quality, but I see some room for some tweaking.

LIAN LI Lancool PC-K7B Black Aluminum/ SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Sony Optiarc 24X DVD/CD Rewritable Drive Black SATA Model AD-7240S-0B - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2 x SAPPHIRE 100259L Radeon HD 4870 512MB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power ... - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL4D-4GBPI-B - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

AMD Phenom II X4 940 Deneb 3.0GHz Socket AM2+ 125W Quad-Core Black Edition Processor Model HDZ940XCGIBOX - Retail
+
ASUS M4A79 Deluxe AM2+/AM2 AMD 790FX ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Subtotal is $952.89 before you add a monitor, shipping, and tax (if applicable)

I think that with your wants, a system with much more power than this would be wasted. Gaming at 22" 1650x1050 or 1920x1080 isn't insanely demanding, and 4870 CF would be up for the job. I also think that the performance differences in the games between the 940 and 955 can't be justified for the price difference right now. You can save a few hundred dollars by going with my suggestions, and this can be put toward a nice monitor, a few new games to test this bad boy out, or some killer headphones like the Sennheiser HD555. I don't know what you're going to using in the way of an operating system, but you can definitely use the Windows 7 RC 64bit for a while until the OEM disks start going out. I strongly suggest going into a retailer, like bestbuy or similar and looking at monitors for yourself, so you can get something you really like the look of. As for the other suggestions, they generally speak for themselves in terms of quality/reputability, though I'm a bit hesitant on the 4870s. I'm worried that they are going to be running so hotly and in such close proximity, that even the two 120 intakes won't be able to provide them with enough cool air. Thoughts on that from the rest of the community?
July 17, 2009 10:52:35 AM

I fixed the RAM for AMD setup, and turns out the AMD setup is around 90 dollars cheaper, but I'm not sure where I should invest the 90 dollars.. maybe keyboard/earphone
July 17, 2009 11:17:08 AM

So you think if i buy the a few hundred bucks cheaper setup with the 940 and two 4870s, it'll be more efficient than the 955 with 4890? What about upgrade wise? Btw, it's really weird how I posted the same post (a tiny bit different) on another computer hardware forum as well, and everyone there was suggesting the i7 setup.
July 17, 2009 11:33:03 AM

I still would suggest i7 setup

Replace the above config with these and check the price...

i7 920 + P6T
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Graphics card
2x XFX GTX 260 Core 216
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU Cooler -
Scythe Mugen 2
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Reason ->http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/coolers/display/core-i...

CASE - Just a suggestion( If you want you can stick with the 590) But the Antec 300 has very good airflow...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Rest all same...

And if you were wondering how 2x GTX 260 would stand up against 2x HD4890s, Yes - certainly the 4890s are powerful
No- You wont notice any difference between these 2 cards at 1080p resolution...
If it were 2560X1600, then certainly the HD 4890s would have given out better performance...but at 1920X1080 resolution, I highly doubt that as either of single cards can play all the games with highest/ high settings at that resolution and with 2x GTX 260, all games can be played maxed out @ that resolution...

You can check out the recent TOMs article on the Cyberpower Dragon PC,
though it doesnt not fully do justice to the AMD, but will give you a good idea of the performance difference...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/cyberpower-gamer-dr...

Even check this article...As you can see that once the i7 is overclocked, it outperforms the 955 by a noticeable margin...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/phenom-versus-i7,23...

I suggest this not that I don't like AMD (Actually I have been an AMD user myself)
It is that one should get the maximum performance their money could get them...
And anyways by the time, 2x GTX260 show signs of slowing down, the market would be filled with newer DirectX 11 cards...
July 17, 2009 11:36:55 AM

And certainly +1 for effel 's system...Even that PC can play @ that resolution...

So if you are spending above 1k, certianly i7...

And actually you can shave off a good amount of cash from the AMD system by going with the combos...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
July 17, 2009 11:51:02 AM

Could you explain why 260 SLI over 285 more specifically? Their price is the same, and performance for 260 SLi is better by a bit, but in the future if I wanted to upgrade, 285 gtx seems better because i could just buy another 285 gtx and sli them.
(I'm actually worried about 260 SLI, because I've never used multiple graphics card systems before and am unsure about their stability. Also, I play WoW a lot, and they don't provide support for SLI, so the 285 gtx system would do better..)
July 17, 2009 12:17:44 PM

If you plan on doing multiple gpu's at any point then I'd say go with the i7 build. i7 in about ever benchmark i've found will outpreform any AMD processor by a nice margin when dealing with sli/cf setups.

Also I found a that wow does support sli/cf ->link

2 x 260gtx sli would run siginficantly faster than 1 gtx 285. However if its just to play wow a gtx 285 is overkill. Even a 260 is overkill.
July 17, 2009 12:21:21 PM

kubes said:
If you plan on doing multiple gpu's at any point then I'd say go with the i7 build. i7 in about ever benchmark i've found will outpreform any AMD processor by a nice margin when dealing with sli/cf setups.

Also I found a that wow does support sli/cf ->link

2 x 260gtx sli would run siginficantly faster than 1 gtx 285. However if its just to play wow a gtx 285 is overkill. Even a 260 is overkill.


Incorrect link :S But thanks
July 17, 2009 12:24:01 PM

^ Reasons why I suggested 2x GTX 260 SLI over GTX 285 are:
1. SLI scales very well on the X58 mobos.
2. Nvidia cards have very good driver support.
3. 2x GTX 260s total would have about 1792MB video memory, hence can handle max settings very well...And actually they are very much better than a single GTX 285
4. By the time you would want to add another GTX 285, I highly doubt you would...
Why ? - Within this year-end, newer DirectX 11 cards are coming...and would you still want to get a older gen 285 then ???
5. 2x GTX 260s would easily last longer than a single GTX 285 in terms of performance output...And now you are not spending anything more than the price of a single GTX 285 for those 2x GTX 260s...

Anyways you are willing to go with multiple cards - so why not 2x GTX 260
July 17, 2009 12:30:00 PM

Alright, seems like 2x GTX 260 is the right choice. Will they fit in my mid-tower case (the one you suggested), and will temperatures/power usage be ok using my corsair 750 w 80+?
July 17, 2009 12:35:52 PM

Yes the Antec 300 can fit in the cards, but if you can extend the budget a little, I would suggest you get the CM 690...It is a very good case, spacious and has very good airflow...You can add more fans to the case, to increase the airflow...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As for power, the Corsair 750TX can easily handle 2x GTX 260 with no problems...It can even run 2x HD4890s/ GTX 275 too...
July 17, 2009 12:38:15 PM

That is assuming i7 920 + 2x GTX 260, right? (I heard i7 eats more than usual power)
July 17, 2009 12:46:18 PM

^ Yes...

Actually it would consume somewhat the same amount of power as X4 955 + 2x HD 4890s...
Actually the peak power would not even cross 700W..,It is just to have a headroom, the 750TX is suggested...
Check this... Select the components and select Capacitor aging as 25 or 30% and check...It would give your a rough idea of the amount of power you would need...and you can see for yourself how much power the total system might consume....
http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp
July 17, 2009 1:03:49 PM

ugh World of Warcraft not supporting SLI is kinda bothering me right now..
July 17, 2009 1:10:13 PM

^ A single GTX 260 would easily max out that game...
And I have seen people saying it does support SLI...but not sure though...
July 17, 2009 1:32:48 PM

sorry for the bad link. I can't find it anymore haha...

If you want to stay with an Antec case this might strech the budget even abit further but ussualy has some great combo deals with psu's Antec 900 -> great cooling preformance for a gaming build.
July 17, 2009 1:45:18 PM

Btw, is i7 920 + 4870 x2 not as great as 260 sli?
July 17, 2009 1:58:07 PM

Also, I just realized because of all the suggestions you guys made me, I can get 275 sli instead of 260 sli... what now ?!
July 17, 2009 2:02:29 PM

get a single GTX 260 and then get a 5870 in September.
July 17, 2009 2:11:51 PM

Any suggestinos on a 500 gb harddrive btw? People telling me getting one huge HDD (over 500gb) isn't really great
July 17, 2009 2:14:35 PM

Won't the newly released video cards in september price way over 200?
I was actually planning to sticking with whatever I buy now, until the new cards prices drop to a reasonable area.
July 17, 2009 2:30:05 PM

nah, the 5870 will be $250, $275 max. If it follows AMD's strategy.

and since quite a few games coming out before the end of the year are DX11, you'll need one of the 5xxx graphics cards.
July 17, 2009 2:34:22 PM

Won't 275 SLI or 4890 SLI be able to cope with games for at least the next year or so?
July 17, 2009 2:44:10 PM

not with DX11 games coming out so quickly since the 275 doesn't support DX11 and if ATi plays it's cards right, the 4890 will have the DX11 abilities disabled in the drivers.
July 17, 2009 3:29:24 PM

Are you sure?
I just read a BUNCH of articles talking about how the game developers are lagging behind the hardware development, and that DX 11 games won't be released until earliest 2010... even then majority of games will be based on 10.1, and DX10 cards can still run the DX 11 games without much problem, perhaps a little bit inefficiently
July 17, 2009 4:37:45 PM

I'd go with effel's system, TBH. Anything more now is overkill, bigtime.
July 17, 2009 5:38:19 PM

@ da_park91, in most cases, yes, software development is far behind hardware development, but DX11 is a small upgrade from DX10.1.

and quite a few games in DX11 are released this year.

DX10 cards can play DX11 games, just not with all the features of DX11 or DX10.1

Well, in all, current ATi cards are DX11 ready hardware-wise, Nvidia cards are far off.
July 17, 2009 7:08:59 PM

the WD Black hard drive linked above is probally your best bet for a hard drive. The only things faster than that would be raptor drives and ssd drives. The raptor drive is not much faster than the WD Black but has a bigger price tag and ssd's are still considered a new technology. Even though they have come down in price, I'd still hold off on buying these types of drives yet. WD Black 640gb is probally one of the best drives you can get on the market currently.
July 17, 2009 10:48:35 PM

Just to further justify my part selections; the money you save on the system can be put towards parts in the future-if you spend all your budget now, you'll get a few improvements in your overall performance, but honestly your games aren't really going to see a huge benefit. If you sit on the few hundred dollars you can save with my build, you'll have the option of putting it towards the new DX11 video cards coming out before the end of the year. Also, you guys are completely ignoring the Lian-Li case I linked, it's an amazingly better case than the Antec 300.

To the OP, think of your computer in a long term perspective, not a one time deal that you drop $1500 on.

Note about DX11- Developers like DICE (battefield series) have done some work on DX11 already, and said it's much easier to work with. Codemasters is delaying Dirt 2 on PC so they can make it DX11 compatible and show the advantages of the new API. I have a feeling it's going to be pushed a lot more heavily than DX10/.1 and being able to purchase a capable video card (like the 5870?) would be a nice advantage.
July 18, 2009 1:18:34 AM

Dang, only if the DX11 cards would release before september, I'd just spend everything with those setup... now I don't know what to do. Anyone know an approximate date of release of dx11 cards? Oh and I'm upgrading from a 4 year old toshiba laptop which has TERRIBLE specs... so I'm pretty sure whichever way I upgrade, I'm going to feel the upgrade in all aspects probably
July 18, 2009 2:37:48 AM

Most definitely.
July 18, 2009 10:25:30 AM

ATi has said that the DX11 cards would come out before Win7's release and they are rumoured for September, but I'd guess anywhere between the 14th of September to the 2nd of October would be a reasonable guess.
July 18, 2009 4:44:51 PM

Simply put, the i7 beats the Phenom, but the 4890 CF would kill the 285. The 4890 is roughly the same as the 275, and 275's in SLI > GTX 295.

I'd say an i7 920, and 2x 275

Or, you could always get the i7 and 2x 4890, providing you don't have an NVIDIA Chipset. (X58 recommended)
July 18, 2009 5:05:09 PM

My buddy bought 2 GTX 260s for 1080p and he says with a single one nearly all of his games didn't drop much in FPS and are still very playable at max settings. So he sold one of them to save up for DX11. If I was you I would save the money and just buy a single GTX 275 / 4890.

Almost forgot... don't waste the money on a GTX 285. Unless someone can justify $150 for a slight fps increase. Not to mention a 4890 can be OCed to be near equal to a GTX 285.
July 18, 2009 5:16:19 PM

I have both an i7 920 rig and a Phenom II 955 rig. It's not a simple comparison really, there are significant differences in the setups, but I like the i7 better. Overclocking was easier with the i7 920.

The Phenom II is only better at gaming in specific rigs; in most cases, the i7 wins. I play WoW, and I say you can't go wrong with either CPU, but the i7 is the stronger one and WoW is known for it's CPU intensiveness. I'd go with the i7 for WoW.

;) 
July 18, 2009 5:32:12 PM

@ raybob, the ONLY chipset for i7 is X58.
July 19, 2009 12:37:40 AM

To the OP, what you could do is go for a cheaper video card in an i7 system, just to get you by for a couple of months, then when the Dx11 cards hit he market, you can upgrade then. Getting two cards of the current generation is kind of a waste of money like a previous poster already mentioned.

An x58 motherboard gives you the option of using ati or nvidia cards in crossfire or sli. What you could do is use something like a GTX 260 for now, and then when the GT300 series gets out on the market, you can use the GTX 260 as a physx card, sell it, or use it for CUDA.
July 19, 2009 1:37:15 AM

As I already said, I decided to not upgrade right away when the 300 series comes out.
I'll be waiting until the prices drop down to a reasonable level, as I don't see the point of upgrading right away when there aren't any good DX11 games out there, and when my two 260s, or 275, or whatever I get can run the games fine. I'm heavily leaning towards 260s though, because 275 SLI makes my budget a little bit too tight and I may have to cut down on things like cooler/ram price, etc
July 19, 2009 6:49:28 AM

you'll probably be waiting until mid 2011 for those GTX 300 prices to go down.
July 19, 2009 8:21:56 AM

I haven't even told you the margin that I want the price to go down to.. how would you know?
July 19, 2009 8:58:30 AM

da_park91 could you make a new post entailing the part selections you wish to have in an i7/gtx 260 sli setup? I'm worried that you're going to have to make some sacrifices and jeopardize overall build quality in favor of more muscle. I know I made the same mistake in my first build, and having been slowly working to get a better system together. In a few days my new Seasonic M12II will be getting to the house to replace my Rosewill powersupply that's some how lasted 2 years without technical hiccups.

July 19, 2009 9:01:00 AM

alright will post in a second!
July 19, 2009 9:41:05 AM

da_park91 said:
alright will post in a second!

Lol that's one long second. It's been like 40 minutes or so huh?
July 19, 2009 11:28:35 AM

I've already posted o_o
!